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How to Get Started with Rolling (video tutorial)

For some people, rolling just comes naturally, but for others, it can be pretty intimidating. At first glance, you're falling from standing and putting your head and neck at risk, but with the right technique, none of this is really an issue, and to build that technique, we can break it down and remove those two risky factors to safely learn how to roll with confidence before throwing yourself into the full shebang.

This is one skill that can save your life, or at least spare you from some broken bones. Self-defense is a valuable skill, but you might never need it. In contrast, when it comes to breakfalls and rolls, you're absolutely going to fall at some point in your life. When that time comes, learning the skills of falling will play a big role in whether you get up unharmed or spend the next half-year nursing an injury.

Check out this video guide by clicking on the image below to see the YouTube short where I break down an entry level rolling progression in under a minute.

This is by no means an exhaustive guide, and if you want more comprehensive instruction, there's an old tutorial video I made on the MovNat YouTube channel that you can check out.

Alex is a MovNat Master Training & Team Instructor, as well as a long-time practitioner & Shidoshi of Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, a classical Japanese Martial Arts. Both Taijutsu and MovNat teach rolling as a part of their practice and curriculum, and the ground movement & Ukemi skillset is something that Alex has always felt drawn to. Ukemi is the Japanese term for breakfalls. Ukemi literally means to receive the ground. The idea is that breakfalls should not be about resisting or interrupting a fall, but rather embracing the sudden descent to the ground as a welcome transition. In Japanese combative arts, Ukemi fits under the umbrella of Taihenjutsu, which entails techniques of displacing the body, and aside from rolling and breakfalls, includes jumping, climbing, running, and other natural movement skills.

Alex teaches rolls and breakfalls in his Parkour classes, MovNat workshops & certifications. Check the Natural Mobility Events page for upcoming workshops & classes.


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